Which Factor Was Most Significant Factor in Leading to the Outbreak of the First World War?

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In 1914, the First World War broke out. It is the war which involved most of the countries in the world. The Sarajevo Assassination has triggered off the war as Austria-Hungary use it as a war excuse to declare war on Serbia. To a large extent I think that extreme nationalism is the most significant factor in leading the outbreak of the First World War. “Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind”. This was said by Albert Einstein. Nationalism is the desire of people of the same race and culture to govern themselves and to keep their own way of life. In the Early 19th century, It started common belief of people’s right with liberalism. However, nationalism became more extreme and furious since 1871. People commonly believed that their country was usually right and superior to other country. They aimed to promote the national glory of their country by weakening the others. This resulted in many conflicts. Firstly, for the independence movement of the Balkan states, they aimed to get free from foreign rule and thus the Eastern Question emerged. Eastern Question means a series of problems happened in the Balkans. It had a nasty long term effect on international relationship. It was true to say that it caused by the rise of Balkan nationalism. Powers would not give way because Balkan is strategically important and most importantly, for the sake for promoting national glory.

Secondly, for the Pan-German Movement, Germany wanted to build a big German empire. She wanted to expand into the Balkans and West Asia. This alarmed the powers like Britain and Russia and increased the tension between the powers. Thirdly, for the Pan-Slav Movement, Russia wanted to unite all Slavs into a big Slav state under Russian leadership. These complicated the Eastern Questions and had conflicts with Austria-Hungary. Fourthly, for the Greater Serbia Movement, Serbia wanted to expand Serbia and united her with Bosnia-Herzegovina and Albania. This worsened the...
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